So earlier this week, I talked about button pushing of one sort. Last night, I had an experience of someone else button pushing. Grey area guy texted me the following, in a conversation about the dog:
“u r awesome! doubt you need that affirmation, but i needed to say it.”
I also got “u r amazing,” “straight luv for u,” “have always loved your vibe” “u soo rock” “let me know if you need anything. i got your back.” All in about 20 minutes. Followed by something suggestive. Which was, I’m confident, his end game all along.
There’s a time I would have been over the moon for all this praise and attention. But I think it’s borne of a year of my sticking to my guns and keeping things black and white. It feels like sweet talking, not a real change of heart. He hasn’t said “I understand what you mean about either dating or not dating, and I’m ready to be the man in your life.” It would just be really convenient for him if I didn’t walk away every time he crossed the line.
I honestly don’t get why, for some people, manipulation is such a go-to. I’m not sure why anything gained through manipulation feels like any kind of victory. There was a time when I actually liked grey area guy. I broke up with him because I thought I could love him, and once I knew he wasn’t in that space, I didn’t see much value in investing in what could only end in my heartbreak. I stayed friends with him for the next year partially because I genuinely liked him as a friend, and because I thought that one day, there could be a possible future for us. I have no excuse for the six months of grey area before I made things clear a year ago. But a year of him trying to end-run has pretty definitively ended that. Who can love someone who values you, your clearly stated wishes and your intelligence so little?
The good news is that, when I dated for that year after we broke up, I had a hard time not comparing good guys I met with him. “Greg is great, but he doesn’t make me laugh like grey-area guy.” or “He’s not as much of a grown up as grey-area guy.” I don’t think I’m going to have that problem anymore. At this point, guys who remind me of him are going in an entirely different category.